Laguna Churup, Ancash - 14,800 ft.
Friends and I couldn´t pass up the opportunity for a day-hike up to a ¨nearby¨ lagoon. After a late start and a slow going, we reached the trailhead at around lunchtime. We pushed up toward the mountain on a trail that looked like something out of Lord of the Rings. By 3 pm it was beginning to get cold and the altitude (at this point we were well over 13,000 ft) was beginning to get the best of us coastal-dwellers. But, we (luckily) ran into a few Quebecois chaps who, on their descent, told us the lagoon was a mere 40 minutes away. A few people decided the light was dwindling and it was best to head down (probably a wise decision) while the rest pushed for the finish-line. After some serious huffing and puffing, and a few ropes to ascend the final rocks-ledge, we reached Churup Lagoon at 14,800 ft. Huaraz lay far below us (second to last photo), but as the temperature dropped quickly, not to mention the light was fading quickly and we were sure to take hours to get back down, we dared not linger long. After a few photos, hail started coming down and we figured that was as good a sign as any to get a move on. Hours later, we caught a tired combi driver and offered him a good rate to take a couple exhausted hikers back to the hostals. Can´t say a warm shower ever felt so good.